No . . . it was the pronunciation. I couldn't bring myself to say that word out loud. I wouldn't disgrace myself by attempting the drawling French, "FRAWN-zhee-pan," and I felt ridiculous sputtering out the idiomatic, "frangeepanee." But then, something wonderful happened that helped me to achieve complete liberation ~ in this area, anyway.
I was in the process of making custard tarts, not frangipane custard but something that looked similar, when an individual walked past who, although as American as myself, happens to be a fluent French speaker with enough innate Frenchness to be credible. He pointed at my handiwork and said, "Oh, is that fran-juh-pahn?" Ah-ha! "No," I answered, holding my breath a little, watching him carefully. "No, it's not fran-juh-pahn." "Hmm. Too bad," he said, shrugged, and walked off. Yes! That was it! The middle road ~ a pronunciation that was neither too French nor too Yankee but just right. And so, liberated in this way, I immediately set about finding a recipe to express my newfound freedom. And here it is.
Vive la fran-juh-pahn!
Peach Frangipane Tart
- 3 large fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
- 1 recipe Frangipane (follows)
- 1 pastry for single-crust pie
- 2 tablespoons mild honey, warmed (optional)
- Turbinado sugar
- ½ cup blanched almonds (whole or slivered)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground vanilla bean or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons (1.5 oz) butter, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a rectangular or circular tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick pan spray. Lay pie pastry over tart pan and ease into place, lifting sides and gently molding them to fit the corners and interior edges of the pan. Fold the excess loosely over the top and run rolling pin over to cut off excess.
- To make the Frangipane: Combine the almonds, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine meal. Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla bean or extract and pulse to mix. Add butter gradually, pulsing to incorporate. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl of the food processor and pulse again to mix thoroughly. Spoon a layer of Frangipane into crust, about 1/4 inch thick. Use a small offset spatula to distribute it evenly over the bottom of the crust.
- Toss peach slices in lemon juice, then sprinkle vanilla sugar over and toss again to coat. Starting at one end of the rectangular tart (or on the outside edge of the circular tart), arrange peach slices so that they overlap slightly. Place blueberries around the outside of the row of peaches. Brush peaches with the warmed honey and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Place tart in preheated oven and bake until the Frangipane is puffed and golden and the peaches are tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. To serve, let cool on rack until barely warm, then unmold and dust with confectioners' sugar or top with vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise. Refrigerate leftovers.
- You can make this without blueberries, but the visual contrast of the dark purple-blue against the yellow-orange of the peaches is appealing. If blueberries aren't available, you can substitute raspberries.
- I used yellow peaches for my tart, but feel free to try white peaches, Saturn peaches, or white or yellow nectarines. You can leave the peel on if you prefer, but I find the texture interferes with the silkiness of the Frangipane.
- You can use whichever pie crust recipe you like. Dorie Greenspan's version of sweet tart pastry has never let me down, and I like Cindy Mushet's pie pastry, though I do substitute a few tablespoons of shortening for some of the butter to help it hold its shape in the tart pan.